Plans are afoot to vaccinate 582 000 people within the next two weeks. The move comes as the department has said there are no plans of closing schools at the start of the new school term on 26 July 2021 – despite a surge in COVID-19 infections.
On Saturday, 19 June, Minister Angie Motshekga announced that staff at public and private schools would be vaccinated by July 8.
“For the next two weeks, we make the clarion call to our school communities to “DROP ALL, AND VACCINATE!” In order for us to successfully complete this programme, we will need to keep schools open. Any disruptions would be undesirable,” Motshekga said.
“We need to work extremely hard and around the clock to vaccinate as many people as possible in our sector. Vaccinating does not mean that we need to stop adhering to the nonpharmaceutical health and safety protocols”
Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga
Education fraternity in support of vaccination roll-out for teachers
All the major teachers’ unions have expressed support over the vaccination of educators. The Basic Education department said the leadership of the unions themselves was expected to be jabbed, along with the teachers.
School Governing Body associations have also supported the vaccination programme and committed to working closely with the Department to ensure that all targeted people receive their jabs.
“The Department of Basic Education has sent a circular to provinces to outline all the steps that must be taken to before and during the vaccination process in basic education. Provincial Education Departments will also provide more details to District, Circuit offices and schools on scheduling of the vaccination in all the sites,” the department has said.
While calls have been mounting for schools to close, amid the third wave of COVID-19 infections, Motshekga has said that only 100 out of over 25 000 schools, had seen a worrying rise in cases.